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    #216179 - 05/13/15 07:36 AM Meeting emotional needs of gifted students
    kikib Offline
    Junior Member

    Registered: 11/12/14
    Posts: 20
    Please let me know if this topic would be better in another forum.
    My children are in our school district's Highly Capable program. I'm in the process of becoming the PTA president of the program and I would like to see more emphasis placed on the emotional needs of our gifted children. Between the lack of instructional time and the lack of funds, this isn't an easy task. I was wondering how other schools handled this. I'm thinking mostly peer relations and dealing with perfectionism.

    Thank you!

    Edited by kikib (05/13/15 07:38 AM)

    #216180 - 05/13/15 07:45 AM Re: Meeting emotional needs of gifted students [Re: kikib]
    DeeDee Offline

    Registered: 04/16/10
    Posts: 2498
    This is largely a teacher professional development issue. If you teach the teachers to use supportive language and debunk perfectionism, they can deploy these skills throughout their teaching time.

    #216186 - 05/13/15 10:05 AM Re: Meeting emotional needs of gifted students [Re: kikib]
    ElizabethN Offline

    Registered: 02/17/12
    Posts: 1390
    Loc: Seattle area
    Our school district has adopted the RULER curriculum for all students. Here is another article about it. My DD's 4th grade teacher (in a highly capable program) said that training for this was one of very, very few teacher trainings that she didn't find to be a complete waste of time.

    #216193 - 05/13/15 01:18 PM Re: Meeting emotional needs of gifted students [Re: kikib]
    indigo Offline

    Registered: 04/27/13
    Posts: 4299
    You've received great replies, I'll just add that if this must be a DIY effort due to budgetary restrictions, there are several resources available, for background information, teacher-led activities, and books for children, which could form the basis of a book-club style discussion group:

    Emotional Needs
    The book Emotional Intelligence by Daniel Goleman, 2005.

    The book The Essential Guide to Talking with Gifted Teens, Jean Sunde Peterson Ph.D., 2007.

    Booklet of Self-scoring Emotional Intelligence Tests.

    A caption in the Seattle Times article linked by another poster, "Students in schools using RULER get higher grades in language arts" plus mention of "The Feeling Words curriculum" on the Yale RULER website brought this book to mind: The Emotion Thesaurus.

    Peer Relations
    Many have found the books The Gifted Kids' Survival Guide for ages 10 & under, The Gifted Teen Survival Guide, and 101 Success Secrets for Gifted Kids to be helpful.

    With regard to your other topic, perfectionism, you may have read this elsewhere on the forums...

    Perfectionistic tendencies may be a sign of developing a fixed mindset rather than a growth mindset. One aspect or application is that gifted kids may stop taking appropriate risks in order to always be "right" or always be "smart" or never be "wrong", and this may work against them. The concept is nicely summarized in these youtube videos:
    Ashley Merryman & Po Bronson: The Myth of Praise (link-
    Teaching a Growth Mindset (link-

    Parents may wish to read the book Mindset by Carol Dweck for tips on promoting a growth mindset.

    A book which seems to understand perfectionism very well and which many find supportive is What To Do When Good Enough Isn't Good Enough. Another book you might like is Perfectionism: What's Bad About Being Too Good. While insightful, these are written gently for kids, in a style that is fun and engaging. With any of these books it may be wise to pre-read and decide if it seems to be a helpful tool to use in guiding the children you have in mind.

    Procrastination can be closely related to perfectionism.

    Helping a child consider "worst case scenario" and finding various work-arounds to keep moving forward... may in some cases help reduce the child's anxiety and add an element of self-confidence, even a sense of looking forward to taking on the challenge.

    The article, 10 Steps for Parents and Kids to Tame the Worry Monster Daniel B. Peters, Ph.D. on Huff Post Parents, discusses anxiety. Interested readers can sign up to receive updates from the author.

    The book, Make Your Worrier a Warrior, (2013, Great Potential Press) authored by Daniel Peters Ph.D. lends expert insight to understanding what a child may be experiencing. For example, pages 44-45 suggest that parents may wish to think of acting out as
    a variation of the "fight or flight" response... children couldn't articulate their fears... they were reacting behaviorally because their amygdala, or their emotional brain, was overriding their thinking brain... kids often do not have the emotional vocabulary and/or insight to tell you what is going on...
    Armed with this knowledge, working on helping a child understand nuances of feelings and vocabulary to express their interpretation of what they are experiencing, may prove helpful.

    Here is a post and another post from other threads which discuss a few more potential resources.

    #216194 - 05/13/15 01:20 PM Re: Meeting emotional needs of gifted students [Re: kikib]
    cmguy Offline

    Registered: 03/30/14
    Posts: 387
    For my very little perfectionists "The Most Magnificent Thing" by Ashley Spires has been a helpful book.

    #216197 - 05/13/15 03:43 PM Re: Meeting emotional needs of gifted students [Re: kikib]
    ndw Offline

    Registered: 11/29/13
    Posts: 314
    Lots of resources and webinars on the SENG website

    This article by Webb on existential depression in gifted children is good too.

    How you manage implementation is difficult. Create a resource library, have talks on the topic or offer a webinar evening.

    #216204 - 05/13/15 07:58 PM Re: Meeting emotional needs of gifted students [Re: kikib]
    kikib Offline
    Junior Member

    Registered: 11/12/14
    Posts: 20
    Thank you so much for your replies. I can't wait to check out all the links!

    Cmguy-I love "The Most Magnificent Thing" too.

    #216206 - 05/13/15 08:44 PM Re: Meeting emotional needs of gifted students [Re: kikib]
    Lepa Offline

    Registered: 10/24/14
    Posts: 104
    Loc: San Francisco, CA
    My five year old loves "The Fantastic Elastic Brain" by JoAnn Deak.

    #216215 - 05/14/15 04:18 AM Re: Meeting emotional needs of gifted students [Re: kikib]
    madeinuk Offline

    Registered: 03/18/13
    Posts: 1450
    Loc: NJ

    For my very little perfectionists "The Most Magnificent Thing" by Ashley Spires has been a helpful book.

    What do you think, is 10 too old for this book?

    It looks useful but if the intended audience is too young then I worry that my DD will lose interest...

    Edited by madeinuk (05/14/15 04:18 AM)
    Become what you are

    #216244 - 05/14/15 07:17 AM Re: Meeting emotional needs of gifted students [Re: kikib]
    cmguy Offline

    Registered: 03/30/14
    Posts: 387
    Maybe has some resources for teaching emotional intelligence to gifted kids? (either for teacher training or for direct instruction to students?). They have some canned presentations available on the website I think.

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